Karl Barth and Vatican II

Reading an interesting piece in Etudes Théologiques & Religieuses about Karl Barth's take on Vatican II. In the piece, "L'ombre de Karl Barth à Vatican II", Gilles Routhier of the Université Laval in Québec argues that Barth, unlike his Calvinist confreres - W. A. Visser 't Hooft and Lukas Vischer - was less interested in the significance of Vatican II for ecumenical relations than what it said about the renewal of the Catholic Church, and whether the churches within the World Council of Churches were not also being challenged to engage in a similar process of renewal. Though ill health prevented him from accepting an invitation from the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity to be present at the Council, he visited Rome after the event and shortly before his death. For Barth, the place given to the Scriptures at the centre of Vatican II represented a new concern with the Word of God, even though he questioned the Roman "and" ... the Scriptures "and" Tradition ... Barth, writes Rothier, frequently compared what he found in Vatican II and in the World Council of Churches. For example, he praised the strongly Christological address by Paul VI at the opening of the second session. "Solches hat man weder in Amsterdam, noch in Evanston, noch in New Delhi gehört," he wrote, referring to the first three assemblies of the WCC.

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